"There's a fucking bat in the house."
It's tempting to say that this kind of thing always happens when I'm away, but that wouldn't be true. The creatures pretty much feel free to come and go as they please around here. From the deer having a snooze in the driveway around dusk, to the possums murdering one another just outside the bedroom window, to the snakes lounging in the cellar staircase, the animal kingdom is goverened under the su casa=mi casa rule.
This particular animal is the only one of the household variety that gives me the willies. Oh sure, I hates me the possums, because they look like they'd be happy to slit your throat and drink your blood, and I'm afraid of bears because they kill people occasionally, but bats look like all they want to do is crawl up your pants leg and scrabble around, squeaking. Ghhhah.
In other words, there are times when one's glad to be in Utica, and this was one of them. At ease in my distance from the bat, I offered some lame advice ("get the neighbors") and proceeded about my business. Later I got the update.
"We couldn't find it inside, but we saw one outside." We concluded that this must've been the one that was inside, and now it was outside, case closed, goodbye unwelcome mammal of the night. I returned Sunday evening and checked inside the fireplace, shining a flashlight around and into a quarter-inch-wide crack in the bricks — where I saw a bat wedged in like it had been poked in there with a stick.
The willies came back. So I got the Equipment: safety goggles, long screwdriver, work gloves, duct tape around the pants legs (kidding). I went back and the bat was gone. So I laid a fire and let 'er rip. A good smoky fire ought to flush out order Chiroptera.
A couple of hours later, after a nice meal and pleasant company, I went back over there and listened to the scrabbling and squeaking of at least one healthy bat. I looked back into the fireplace and saw this:
So I grabbed the
This morning, on my way to work, I stopped to help a turtle cross the road. It peed all the way across.